Mobile home park residents facing eviction in South Austin can stay a bit longer, judge rules
Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.
Residents of the Congress Mobile Home Park off South Congress Avenue were told this summer their leases would not be renewed. Since then, residents who were able to have relocated, but about a dozen families remain either because they haven’t found another place to live or cannot move their homes. Despite the moniker, many homes allowed at mobile home parks are manufactured and, indeed, are not very mobile.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Austin Community Law Center sued the property owner on behalf of tenants still living at the park.
“A little bit more time will give them a little bit more roof over their head,” said Rosie Muñoz, who used to live at the park. Muñoz received notice in June that after living at the mobile home park for five years she would have to relocate her RV.
She said she was able to find another place to park farther east, but she is now paying about $400 more a month in rent and fees. The commute to her job at Lowe’s has grown by about 20 minutes.
Muñoz said she feels like one of the lucky ones. Her former neighbors who remain struggle to figure out where they will go.
“Some of them are elderly; some of them are with children. Experiencing the hardship as it is, [they] have no means to move a mobile home. They don’t have a place to put it,” Muñoz said. “They would be in the streets.”
Lawyers allege the property owner, Reza Paydar and his entity Congress Corner LLC, violated state law by not giving residents 180 days’ notice that they would have to leave. (Requests for comment from Paydar Properties were not returned by deadline.)
This additional time is required if the owner plans to change the use of the land. While a search of the city’s permitting database does not show the owner has applied for new permits, the judge noted in Monday’s order that the owner intends to do just that.
The judge’s order is temporary and gives residents some time until a final ruling in the case is made. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.